Posted by: Adam Strong-Morse | Comments (2)
With Congress considering whether to repeal the Affordable Care Act (the “ACA,” sometimes called “ObamaCare”), the partners and staff of Choice of Games feel the need to strongly state our support for the ACA and to explain its importance to the creative community. The ACA enables our work in two important ways:
- Choice of Games is a small company, with 6 staffers, spread across 5 different states. It’s essentially impossible for us to get group health insurance for our partners and employees at a reasonable price. We’re too small and distributed. The ACA allows for an effective affordable individual market for health insurance, even for our employees with serious pre-existing conditions. That allows us to pay our employees some additional salary that they can use to secure adequate health insurance in place of providing health insurance directly. Without the ACA, some of our staff would likely be unable to secure health insurance as individuals, which would mean that they would have to work for a larger company that could provide them with group insurance instead of working for Choice of Games. And because some of our staff have serious pre-existing conditions, even a brief period of being uninsured without the ACA could mean bankruptcy or death because of inability to pay for necessary medical treatment.
- In addition to its staff, Choice of Games depends on a large number of creative independent contractors—the authors of most of our games, artists, even copy-editors. We’re like most publishers in this regard. As independent contractors, our authors and artists don’t receive health insurance from Choice of Games. We’re not directly privy to their health insurance decisions, but it’s very likely that some of them also rely on the individual markets enabled by the ACA for their health insurance. Without access to that option, they would have to find another way to secure health insurance: giving up writing as a full-time business so that they could get health insurance through an employer, perhaps, or remaining dependent on a spouse’s job for insurance regardless of whether that makes sense for them. The ACA allows independent contractors like our authors and artists to get health insurance while continuing to pursue creative efforts as a full-time business. That’s critical to the continuing functioning of Choice of Games and many other creative businesses.
Without the ACA, Choice of Games and its independent contractors would face terrible choices. Some of our staff and contractors might have to abandon their creative work to instead take other jobs, simply to secure health insurance. If they chose to continue to pursue creative work, some of them would risk bankruptcy. And the inability to pay for life-saving treatments could literally kill some of our staff or authors.
The ACA isn’t the only, or even necessarily the best, solution to these problems. Many of us would prefer a single-payer system of health care, paid for out of general tax revenues. Nonetheless, repealing the ACA without another system that would guarantee access to health insurance, regardless of employment or pre-existing conditions, would be a disaster for Choice of Games, for the creative writers and artists we contract with, and for the United States. If you care about Choice of Games and our work, please contact your Representatives and Senators to urge them to oppose any repeal of the ACA that does not preserve the ability of all people, regardless of employment or pre-existing conditions, to secure affordable health insurance.